Backcountry Regulations

As with many other world-famous recreational areas, Algonquin Park has occasionally proved to be too popular for its own good. Excessive numbers of people simultaneously crowding through certain access points and the destructive camping practices of some inexperienced or uncaring people have threatened to degrade the very qualities of solitude, beauty, and wilderness sought after by most people using the Park backcountry.

In order to protect these qualities for present and future visitors, it has been necessary, after extensive public consultation, to enact certain regulations governing the use of the Park backcountry. Within provincial parks, Park Wardens and Conservations Officers are on patrol to: provide information to, and ensure the safety of, Park visitors; protect Algonquin Park and its resources; and enforce Park rules and regulations to ensure everyone has an enjoyable visit. Park Wardens and Conservation Officers have the power and authority of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer (including the power of arrest). 

The following regulations are a few of the more common regulations enforced in Algonquin Park.

1. Possession of Permit

Any party camping in the backcountry must possess a valid Interior Camping Permit.

2. Camping in the Park Backcountry

Backcountry camping is permitted only at designated backcountry campsites. Each site is marked on the ground by an orange sign and on this map by a red or black triangle. In some areas, especially within one day’s travel of the access points and at certain times of the canoeing season, the number of camping parties has the potential to exceed the number of available sites. To avoid this problem, the Park must therefore limit the number of camping parties. To avoid disappointment, we recommend that you use make a backcountry reservation.

At the time you reserve or buy your permit, you will be asked to specify your route. Assuming there is space available, your permit will list the lakes where you may camp and the nights when you may camp on those lakes. You must not camp on other lakes or at times not specified on your permit because the campsites involved may have been reserved for other groups.

3. Age Restriction

When camping overnight, persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or by a person appointed by a parent.

4. Individuals per Campsite/Party Size Limit

Without limits, campsites would soon deteriorate and surrounding vegetation would be destroyed. The number of people permitted to camp at one campsite in the Park backcountry is limited to nine individuals on their site. In principle, larger groups may travel and eat together, but they must break up to camp and should plan their trips accordingly.

5. Can and Bottle Ban

Can and bottles are not permitted in the Park's backcountry. Learn more >

6. Respect for Vegetation

It is forbidden to cut or damage any living tree or other plant. This specifically prohibits such disfiguring and outmoded practices as cutting evergreen boughs for bedding; cutting birch bark from living trees; and embedding nails, axes or other objects in trees.

7. Noise Restrictions

To ensure the appreciation of natural sounds of Algonquin Park excessive noise is not permitted. Learn more >

8. Firearms/Fireworks Prohibited

Except for legal hunts (see Hunting and Trapping), it is forbidden to possess firearms. Due to the extreme danger of starting a forest fire and to preserve the tranquility of camping, the use or possession of fireworks is strictly prohibited.

9. Motor Restrictions

Motor restrictions exist on most Park lakes. Learn more >

10. Caching of Motor Boats and Canoes

Motor boats and canoes may not be left unattended in Algonquin Park except in several specific locations, learn more >

11. Motorized Land Vehicles

12. Float Planes

Float planes may not land in Algonquin Park or drop supplies into Algonquin Park.

13. Bicycles

Bicycles and other pedal-operated conveyances are permitted off public roads only on designated trails and otherwise closed roads – both indicated on the Canoe Routes Map by thin solid red lines.

14. No Live Baitfish

In order to protect Algonquin Park's aquatic ecosystems, possession or the use of live baitfish are prohibited in Algonquin Park. Learn more >

15. Special Fishing Regulations

Algonquin Park contains a special cold water fishery, including some the world's best Brook Trout and Lake Trout fishing opportunities. In order to protect this special fishery, special regulation have been enacted. Learn more >

Related Information


Reserve your developed or backcountry campsite for your next visit.

Share your passion for Algonquin Park by becoming a member or donor.

Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.